overgeneralize

verb, transitive + intransitive over·gen·er·al·ize \ ˌō-vər-ˈjen-rə-ˌlīz , -ˈje-nə- \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of overgeneralize

overgeneralized; overgeneralizing
: to generalize excessively: such as
a I : to make excessively vague or general statements about something or someone
  • Of course, I am guilty here of grossly overgeneralizing, of caricaturing.
  • —Peter Oliver
b T/I : to generalize to the point of inaccuracy : to extrapolate a general theory, rule, etc. from too few facts or particulars
  • overgeneralizes from the results of a limited study
  • Since the needs of a low vision person and of a blind person can be very different, it is important not to overgeneralize the nature of visual impairment.
  • —Roberto Manduchi and James Coughlan
c I : to apply a rule of language too broadly
  • At a certain stage of language growth, children characteristically overgeneralize: They say sleeped instead of slept, brang (on the analogy of sang) instead of brought, and so forth.
  • —Noam Chomsky

overgeneralization

play \ˌō-vər-ˌjen-rə-lə-ˈzā-shən, -ˌje-nə-\ noun, plural overgeneralizations
    • … indulge in overgeneralization from fuzzy facts, or when facts are missing.
    • —Hy Ruchlis
    • … stereotypical overgeneralizations about the sexes …
    • —Nadine Taub and Elizabeth M. Schneider

First Known Use of overgeneralize

1851


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